Garden Aloes

Aloe branddraaiensis

Category: Spotted Aloes

USDA Hardiness Zones: 9b - 11


Aloe branddraaiensis from the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa is one of the more striking, spotted aloes. The plant is winter-flowering, with a branched inflorescence that forms a panicle with dozens of clusters of tubular red flowers. This is one of many small, spotted, ground hugging, stemless aloes that are a bit hard to tell apart until they flower.


Aloe branddraaiensis forms a simple rosette bearing light green leaves spotted and marked with white striations. Zigzaggedly striped leaves are protected by sharp marginal reddish-brown or orange-brown spines. Sometimes plants are single-headed, but often they have a few offshoots at the base. The leaves are up to 14 inches long (35 cm) and 4 inches wide (10 cm), with whitish spots peppering the surface. In shade, the leaf color is deep green, but with increasing light levels plants acquire a purple or reddish tinge. Often the spots are arranged in undulating bands across the leaf surface, but this is not always the case. It is a slow to moderate grower with no particular problems relative to the other spotted aloes. It rarely exceeds 30 cm (12 inches) in height excluding inflorescences, often suckering it form small clumps.


On full-grown plants, two or three flower stalks are produced from a single rosette in one flowering season. The inflorescences of this species are highly branched and covered with brilliant red flower racemes making it one of the more ornamental of this myriad of spotted aloes. Each flower has a rounded base, narrowing a little above this, and then increasing again in diameter toward the mouth.

Origin / History

Aloe branddraaiensis is native to the grass and bushland of the Northern Province and Mpumalanga, South Africa. The ending “ensis” means “coming from”, and this aloe comes from the area around Branddraai, South Africa. It has a very restricted range, but is quite common in that area and north to the Olifants River.

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Care / Cultivation

This is not a difficult species to grow if given at least a half day of sun, so long as it is kept from temperatures below 27° F (-3° C). Though it prefers dry winters, it can be grown in winter-rainfall climates if provided with excellent drainage and occasional watering during its growing season in summer. Always use a good quality, loamy sandy soil with plenty of drainage with chips at the bottom of containers. This aloe is very tolerant of drought, although the tips of the leaves may wither and curl during hot, dry periods. As all the other Aloes, Aloe branddraiensis prefers sandy, well-draining soils and sunny positions.

Frost Tenderness

When dry it can stand light frost into the mid 20s F but it is damaged in hard freezes, however it recovers quickly.

Use in the Garden

The features of the leaves make this plant interesting for ornamental gardening, especially when the leaves become brown-reddish, creating this spotted fantasy of colors which is really attractive. Aloe branddraaiensis can be grown in large containers. It makes an excellent ground cover, grows best in a sunny position and makes a long lasting cut flower. In mild climates it can be cultivated outdoors for use in landscaping, it can be grown in large, rocky, well-drained soil in gardens in drier areas.

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The information on this page about Aloe branddraaiensis has been gathered and summarized from the sources below. Visit these pages to learn more.

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